Brighter Days Ahead


Brighter Days AheadI anxiously awaited summer this year. The hectic school season was becoming overwhelming and I looked forward to a more relaxed season of life where we could lounge by the pool, have some fun with friends and regroup from our hectic life. Summer seems to be a reprieve for us. Between homeschooling, extracurricular activities, appointments and co-op, the school year is full and a constant state of excitement. Summer is always a time when we get to unwind a bit.

This year, summer started with a bang.

My dad had a stroke and gave us a good scare. Thankfully, he is home and doing better with some therapies to help him get where he needs to be. Then, my oldest had a fall and emergency surgery. Again, thankfully, he is going better but has some healing to do both physically and emotionally. Then, my husband was hurt at work and will be having surgery soon. That will put him home and on full rest until he is completely healed. Even with all of this happening, I still knew summer would be a much needed reprieve. Something about being in the sun and by the pool is just healing to the soul.

Then it started.

I was working in the yard getting mulch in the flowerbeds and pulling weeds. I had spent the day in the sun and was so happy with the progress I had made in the yard. It rained the following two days which was fine because I had broken out with a blistering and itchy rash on my arms. After a week, I went to the walk-in clinic because it wasn’t getting any better. I was prescribed a steroid cream and after a week of using the cream and staying out of the sun, the rash was better. All of this happened before our emergencies so I didn’t think much of it and figured I had been allergic to something outside. Three weeks later, I had been cooped up inside between rain, hospital visits, and chores, so I was happy to get outside again and start opening the pool. It’s the chore I hate and love all at the same time. I hate it because it is a lot of work especially when I have parts to replace, but I love it because it means it is the start of my favorite time of the year.

I worked for three days in the sun. It took my mom and me a lot of work to get everything ready, but we did. But by the evening of the third day, my arms were blistered worse than ever before. I tried putting the cream on them but got no relief. After just a few days of trying to treat myself at home, I returned to the walk-in clinic — this time with hives. They were the most painful and itchy blisters I have ever experienced. I shared how the rash first appeared three weeks prior and how we thought it was from weeds or something outside. But this time, I hadn’t been working in the yard. I had been on the deck and the only thing that touched my skin was the sun. I was told it could be an autoimmune reaction to the sun and that I needed to see a dermatologist for official diagnosis. I was also told to stay out of the sun until I was seen and that repeated exposure would make it worse.

With one visit to the doctor, my summer completely changed. 

I have been dealing with autoimmune issues for a few years, but this definitely hits harder than any of the other issues because I feel like I am limited in what I can do. Sitting outside in the shade with UV protective sleeves on while the kids swim isn’t what I pictured for this summer. Wearing special sunscreen and staying in the shade isn’t what I had planned for this summer. But it isn’t my plan that matters; it’s Gods and although I don’t fully understand why things seem so hard this year, I know that I am not alone.

It may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders but this too shall pass and a brighter day will come…well, maybe it will be less bright in my case.


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